ONLINE COURSE: The German Welfare Model: "Social Market Economy"

Germany is a powerful exporter in various economic sectors and a large industrial power with global significance, but it is also a global leader with its social welfare system called the “Social Market Economy.”  How did Germany gain this power after World War II? How do capitalism and social welfare fit together? What are the pros and cons of the “Social Market Economy?” What kinds of reforms are debated in Germany, today? Come join this course and we will answer these questions!

Course periodNov. 29, 2021 - Dec. 10, 2021 Session III
Category Law & Economics
Course levelsMaster
Class size

max. 15 participants in class

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points after successful completion of the online course. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the online course a Transcript of Records will be issued by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Application deadline Nov. 15, 2021, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee600.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)

Online Course Fee

You are interested in this course and study at an Eastern European university? Then apply additionally for a scholarship of Santander Consumer Bank and benefit from a course tuition waiver.


Germany is Europe’s largest economy and it’s industrial powerhouse – selling cars like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and VW and chemical products like “aspirin” to the world. The quick recovering of the German economy after World War II still appears as an “Economic Miracle”.

The seminar will air the secrets of this success by exploring the sophisticated German system – the “Social Market Economy”: How is efficient capitalist order combined with a huge welfare state? How are conflicts smoothed by incorporating the unions into “Social Partnership”? You will be surprised how modern efficient capitalism and medieval traditions are merged into “Social Market Economy”.

The course will explore the German economic system by lectures, readings, facility visits to industrial plants (e.g. BMW), excursions to the Museum of History, the governmental district and to innovative projects (e.g. cooperatives). Furthermore, we will compare the German system with your country to find solutions for a better capitalism.


Syllabus (PDF)

Course structure

The course content is equivalent to an on-site course offering 40 contact hours.

The study time includes:

  • virtual class room lessons with the lecturer and the fellow students (50%)
  • group exercises (25%)
  • assignments and self-study (25%)


Weekly schedule of virtual class room sessions:

  • Course days: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (Week 1), Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Week 2)
  • Time: 12.30 pm – 2.45 pm (Berlin time, UTC+1)
    7.30 pm – 9.45 pm (Beijing time, UTC+8)
    10.30 pm – 0.45 am (Sydney time, UTC+11)
    5.30 am – 7.45 am (Chicago time, UTC-6)
Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Master students and advanced undergraduate students (final year) of business and economics, politics, history, social sciences and students with an academic background that qualifies them to participate in the course.

Prof. Dr. Jochen Hille

Prof. Dr. Jochen Hille, born 1972, is a political scientist and professor for social work at iba University of Cooperative Education in Hamburg. His main interests are welfare studies (mainly health and labor market policies), European Integration and the construction of national identity. His regional focus lies on Germany and Norway. He studied and carried out research at Freie Universität Berlin, Philipps University Marburg, Universities of Bergen and Oslo (Norway), ETH Zurich and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Beside the scientific work he is professionally working as a consultant for social policies and as a project manager/social worker in diverse governmental labor market programs. He gained a wide range of teaching skills in governmental programs, in civic education, public schools and by teaching high ranked governmental professionals.

In academia he regularly teaches political sciences and economics on the welfare state at „Berlin School of Economics“, the „University of Cooperative Education Plauen“ and the „University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Management“ and occasionally at Best-Sabel University, HTW and Business School Berlin.

In the HUWISU program he has been teaching since 2013 the courses on:

The Berlin Wall
Nazi-Germany – Rise and Fall
German: Social Market Economy – a better Capitalism?

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin